As a parent, you already have the two key attributes for being great teachers: you love your children and you want them to learn and grow. In online learning at SelfDesign, this presents opportunities that are different than what you will experience with traditional, brick-and-mortar schools.

“It’s all about personalized and life-long learning,” says Amber Papou, President and CEO of the SelfDesign Learning Foundation. “Online learning at SelfDesign is flexible and individualized, and it is facilitated by certified BC educators and  technology.”

Online learning at SelfDesign puts the learner at the centre

At SelfDesign, online learning puts the learner at the centre of their own learning experience and allows them to determine the pathway they will take towards meeting the required BC Ministry of Education competencies. A family with a learner enrolled in SelfDesign Learning Community is supported along that pathway by a B.C. certified educator. The educator works with the family and learner to develop a personalized learning plan tailored to the learner’s own interests and passions. The educator then helps to guide the learner and family throughout the year through reflective observations of learning as it occurs and suggestions for learning and opportunities that can be explored at home, in the local community and online.

Online learning uses technology to facilitate learning

Technology facilitates that support. At SelfDesign, educators, learners and families use technology to create supportive, relationship-based spaces online where connection and learning happen.

For example, technology allows our educators to communicate and interact with parents and learners, and it allows our learners to communicate and interact with each other and the world. It also allows all members of the SelfDesign community to share their learning and their insights with each other and to connect in a meaningful way.

Online learning supports connection and communication

Communication, sharing and connection at SelfDesign can happen in many different ways online, including in online discussion rooms such as The Village of Conversations, in collaborative working spaces such as Padlet or Google Docs, and in virtual meeting and sharing spaces such as Zoom, where virtual camps, Genius Hours, grade 8/9 circles and workshops, and grades 10, 11, and 12 group and theme work take place and where learners engage at the level they’re comfortable.

“As educators in unprecedented times, we are now faced with the task of building robust, meaningful relationships with learners online, as we would have in the classroom,” says SelfDesign Learning Community Vice Principal Vanessa Kuran. “Over the last 20 years, SelfDesign educators have developed and adopted practical tools to navigate online learning effectively, which builds a deeper connection with learners.”

Working in collaboration with Cognia, the world’s largest education improvement organization, SelfDesign recently shared its expertise in using technology as a tool to connect and build meaningful relationships. Four experienced educators who work online with SelfDesign learners weekly in one-on-one, small-group, and large collaborative spaces developed a 60-minute webinar to provide helpful, tested advice for engaging learners online and building their trust and confidence so that they can learn.

Online learning means learning happens everywhere

Online learning at SelfDesign also means that learning happens everywhere – at home, in the community and online – and we use technology to support and facilitate the unique opportunities that present. SelfDesign educators, learners and families tap into technology to find the resources they need to pursue learning in the way that best suits them. A learner and family, for example, might choose to take advantage of learning experiences available in their own community that they’ve learned about online. They might seek information online on how to use their own home or neighbourhood for learning. Or they might use technology to access online opportunities such as the learning subscriptions that SelfDesign makes available to its learners and families.

Online learning provides access to innovative resources

SelfDesign also uses technology to develop some truly unique and innovative learning opportunities of its own. SelfDesign’s Learning Experiences Library is one such ground-breaking resource. This virtual library offers learners and families a diverse and extensive collection of high-quality learning experiences tailored specifically to our learners’ own interests, passions and needs. The appropriate and ad-free resources are specially curated to link learners’ personalized learning paths to the B.C. curriculum in a holistic and unique way.

“Each Learning Experience explores a unique topic or learning process,” says SelfDesign Library Manager Marianne Butler. “The library offers learners access to thousands of resources that are easily found and accessed through Learning Experiences and their related content pages.”

Online learning at SelfDesign is a diverse, engaging, personal experience that draws on resources far and near, in person and virtually to support learners’ individual learning journeys. Drawing on our years of experience in providing successful blended and remote learning to B.C. children that meets BC Ministry of Education objectives and goals, we are delighted to share our expertise with you in our Top 10 Tips for Online Learning.

You can also visit our website ‘How it works’ page here.